Trump officials deny turning down additional doses of Pfizer COVID vaccine
Trump administration officials denied that they passed on an opportunity to purchase additional doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine earlier this summer.
The administration’s Operation Warp Speed signed a nearly $2 billion contract with Pfizer and its partner BioNTech in July for the rights to 100 million doses. The money is payable upon the receipt of the first 100 million doses, following authorization by the Food and Drug Administration.
The contract gave the administration the ability to acquire up to an additional 500 million doses.
According to The New York Times, the administration declined when offered the opportunity to purchase the additional doses.
But an administration official said nobody turned down additional Pfizer doses — and even if they were offered, the U.S. was essentially not going to gamble further on an unproven vaccine.
“Anyone who wanted to sell a guarantee, without an EUA [emergency use authorization] approval, hundreds of millions of doses back in July and August, was just not going to get the government’s money,” the official said.
The official said the U.S. has contracts with five other companies for a combined guarantee of 3 billion doses, as well as the option for more.